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Economic Downturn Scarcely Slowing Political Contributions to Minnesota's U.S. House Delegation

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The economic recession of the past year, and its accompanying significant rise in unemployment, rise in home foreclosures and delinquency rates, and drop in the stock market, has not derailed Minnesota's U.S. House delegation from raising money like the recession never happened.

A Smart Politics analysis finds there was a drop in campaign donations of just 3.7 percent during the first two quarters of 2009 compared to the first two quarters of 2007, or roughly $100,000 out of the more than $6 million collectively raised by Minnesota's eight U.S. Representatives during those periods.

From January through June of 2007, Minnesota's U.S. House delegation - which was comprised of its existing membership, substituting Jim Ramstad for Erik Paulsen - raised $3,086,076 in all campaign funds, or an average of $385,759 per officeholder. This includes contributions made by individuals (both itemized and unitemized), PACs, and political party committees.

Through the first two quarters of 2009, the Gopher State's eight members of the U.S. House raised a nearly identical $2,972,822, or an average of $371,603 per member.

This scant 3.7 percent drop in campaign contributions from 2007 to 2009 occurs against the backdrop of a 36 percent drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the first two quarters of 2007 (approx. 12,500) to the first two quarters of 2009 (approx. 8,000). Evidently Americans believe contributing money to Minnesota's U.S. Representatives (including two committee chairs and one ranking member) is still a good investment.

It also comes at a time when the national unemployment rate has increased 93 percent during these two periods - from 4.5 percent to 8.7 percent. In Minnesota, the average unemployment rate through the first two quarters of 2007 was 4.6 percent, compared to 8.1 percent during the first two quarters of 2009 - or an increase of 76 percent.

However, while receipts to Gopher State U.S. Representatives are moving along at roughly the same clip overall, there has been a notable change in what form these contributions are taking today vis-à-vis 2007.

From January through June 2007, the split between contributions by individuals ($1,520,672) and those by PACs ($1,563,859) was nearly identical - 49.3 and 50.7 percent of all funds raised respectively.

In 2009, however, donations by individuals increased by more than $200,000 to $1,751,635, while contributions by PACs fell by more than $300,000 to $1,219,193. Individual contributions totaled 58.9 percent of all money donated during this span, compared to just 41.0 percent by PACs.

In short, while overall it is a wash, Minnesota's members of Congress are having an easier time raising money from individuals than business and other special interests during this economic downturn.

Trend in Campaign Fundraising to MN U.S. House Delegation through First Two Quarters of 2007 and 2009

Contribution
2007
2009
Individuals
$1,520672.16
$1,751,635.97
PACs
$1,563,859.58
$1,219,193.68
Political party committees
$1,544.50
$1,992.47
Total
$3,086,076.24
$2,972,822.12
 
 
 
% Individuals
49.3
58.9
% PACs
50.7
41.0
% Political party committees
0.1
0.1
Note: FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Tomorrow's post will examine the trends in fundraising - who's up and who's down - within Minnesota's U.S. House delegation from 2007 to 2009.

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Previous post: Pawlenty on the Rebound? Governor's Approval Rating Reaches Highest Mark in 2009
Next post: Congressman Oberstar to Speak at Humphrey Institute Wednesday

1 Comment


  • The economical downturn has effected all of the world. We have feeling the aftershock right now at Examinare and IT Kroonan AB in Sweden. It is sad that people just dont understand that they really don´t help the subject when they dont invest when they can of course.

    Nice to find this blog and get some feedback from the US.

    Good work. I will continue to follow your blog.

  • Leave a comment


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